• Nobody does it better. Each is
superbly suited for his work and
completely successful at it.
• And both agree on the Bond
family motto Orbis non sufficit –
“The world is not enough.” (More
on that in a moment.)
They also diverge, however, and
widely so, in at least four ways.
MISSION, DEFEAT, DEATH,
James Bond’s mission is to save the
world from evil, so it can keep on as it
was before he intervened.
Bond never improves the world.
He never questions the structures
of power, let alone attempt to offer
a creative alternative to the ways of
the world that keep generating evil
geniuses, huge crimes and massive
threats to the innocent. He focuses
exclusively on the tactical question
of how a particular problem might
be ruthlessly solved.
Jesus Christ’s mission is also to
save the world from evil. But His
work concentrates on what is fundamentally wrong with the world,
which is, to paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, the world itself.
Jesus does not want merely to
topple the latest and worst form of
evil in our world. He wants to
transform and perfect it entirely.
Indeed, Jesus Christ founds a radically alternative organization, one
with a completely different outlook
than the intelligence agencies and
archvillains who challenge James
Bond. Jesus’ organization spreads an
alternative ethic that has reshaped
every culture and institution it has
touched with the promise that history will eventually reach a global
regime of peace and prosperity.
Bond never even dreams of such
a utopia. He takes this life for granted and simply does his best in it.
Jesus is all about alternative real-ities – the Kingdom of God and
eternal life. Nothing could be
greater or more worthwhile.
James Bond is never quite defeated.
He makes one miraculous escape
after another, yanking victory once
more out of the jaws of certain defeat.
Yet Bond is never finally victorious either. The evil organization
SPECTRE lasts for a while, but ul-
timately is destroyed, succeeded by
this maniacal dictator and that
drug lord, this mad scientist and
that crazy media mogul – until the
moviemakers “reload” the series
and yes, bring SPECTRE back.
Every film ends in exactly the same
way – “James Bond will be back”
– because evil ever sprouts anew.
How attractive! A hero who is
sometimes down, but never out. A
hero who always gets the last laugh
– and usually a painful pun – at the
expense of his enemies. It’s easy to
want to be That Guy.
Jesus Christ, however, seems
totally defeated. Not an attractive
role model at all.
There is no more abject sight
than a man on a cross, pathetically
jerking himself up and down to
breathe, while gasping and moaning at the pain wracking every part
of His body. And then He dies and
is laid in a stone tomb. What person
has ever seemed more like a victim
and less like a victor?
Yet Christianity affirms Jesus is
totally triumphant. Not just a little
triumphant, like perhaps coming
back from the dead to enjoy a
normal lifespan with wife and kids
and a quiet retirement. No, He
comes back as the Lord of Life,
vindicated by the hand of God Al-
mighty, and ascended to heaven as
the Conqueror of All Evil and
Ruler of the World.
His story also includes the promise that “Jesus Christ will be back.”
But not to do battle again and again
with a neverending series of enemies. No, He will return once, for
all, to finish off evil and establish a
new and everlasting order of goodness – and with power and efficacy
far beyond any gadgets Q Branch
can think up.
James Bond is never quite dead,
although often badly wounded. (He
appears to have died in the opening
sequences of both From Russia With
Love and You Only Live Twice.) In
fact, in the weird way of movie
franchises, Agent 007 is ever rejuvenated, actor by actor, as more
movies are made – a cinematic
form of reincarnation!
Jesus Christ by contrast was
quite dead. The Roman soldiers
stationed on Golgotha were trained
in the brutal arts of torture and
execution, and were so impressed
by Jesus’ obvious demise that they
didn’t bother to break his legs – the
way to guarantee the asphyxiation
of a crucifixion victim.
Yet Jesus, as a model for the rest
of us, underwent a single dramatic
resurrection – a transformation of
His former body into one capable
of enjoying the eternal existence of
the age to come.
Bond cheats death.
Jesus overcomes and defeats it.
James Bond serves with un-
questioned loyalty his “queen and
country.” (This sarcastic phrase is
spoken by the renegade agent 006
Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye.) Such
loyalty might seem absurd to those
who see the British royal family as
an odd and wasteful relic of the
past, and Britain as the seat of a
“THERE IS A WAY THAT
APPEARS TO BE RIGHT, BUT
IN THE END IT LEADS TO
DEATH.” –PROVERBS 14: 12